Circumstance: There could be more to it.


How do you feel when your first impression is very wrong? Not only have you jumped to conclusions and made a judgement with little care, but you are so far off base that you are embarrassed and have to apologize. Those episodes demonstrate the need to spend more time using Rule 3 “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”.

The following blog tells an interesting story to show that “there may be more to it than meets the eye”:


The question posed is: “If a poor man and a rich man stole an apple, who would be more wrong?”

Your first choice would be the rich man since he is not desperate at all.

New circumstances emerge as more details are revealed. How would your judgment change if:

1. The rich man had just been robbed of his wallet and his ability to purchase anything had been taken from him.

Still the rich man since he must have resources elsewhere and what’s his rush?

2. The rich man is a diabetic who was in crisis and desperately needed the sugar an apple would provide.

Now they are the same.

3. The poor man is a drug addict that just robbed the rich man outside the grocery store.

The tide has changed and now the poor man is judged as worse since he allowed himself to deteriorate into an addict.

At each stage it was important to ask and understand “why”. Don’t be too quick to judge others based on initial and obvious circumstances. Perhaps there is a “bigger picture” with extenuating circumstances that are crucial to understanding what caused the behaviors of both parties.

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